My Anime Boston story is an unlikely one. In 2010, I applied to attend Anime Boston as a member of the press, and was rejected since at the time, the convention did not accept student press (I was hoping to go on behalf of my journalism graduate school).
That could have ended after my frustrated tweet about how badly I wanted to report on Anime Boston. However, Tuan Pham, who was and remains director of Public Relations, saw my tweet and invited me to write for the staff blog, a new idea he’d come up with in which people live-blogged Anime Boston’s events.
The idea was a hit, and Tuan has continued to invite me back each year to reprise my role, now as Lead Blogger for the convention. Even better: the longer the blog has been around, the more popular it has gotten.
Anime Boston is a vacation for me, but it’s also a weekend in which I work very hard to report on awesome anime topics. I wanted to highlight some of my posts here:
Gender Identity in Convention Culture
Since outdated Massachusetts laws legally require Anime Boston to only permit two gender identities for registration—male and female—some attendees think we’re backwards when it comes to gender identity. I wrote this post about Anime Boston’s current and proposed gender sensitivity policies.
How to Get a Job in the Anime Industry According to Crunchyroll
A lot of people have seen my article Meet the girl who gets paid to watch anime, but I highly doubt some of them have read past the title. During this panel, Crunchyroll brand managers talked about the long hours and tons of travel time they devote to bringing anime to all of Crunchyroll’s members and fans. They also mentioned they’re hiring and offered some pointers for how to apply.
Ping Pong: The Animation Dub Premieres at Anime Boston
This post did not do well, possibly because I has to tell, not show, people what the Ping Pong dub was like. I thought Lindsay Seidel as Yurie was nearly indistinguishable from her counterpart in the Japanese performance. It also blew my mind that Micah Solusod, who plays Smile, also played Soul from Soul Eater—and Anime Boston guest Koki Uchiyama, who voiced Smile in Japanese, also played Soul!
Fan Activism: Five Times Fans Changed The World
I enjoyed this panel detailing the times that fans have pooled their resources and influence in order to create change and do good works in the community. It’s amazing what happens when we channel the passion we have for fandom into raising awareness. I highlighted Anime Boston’s several charity events prominently.
Celebrating Passover and Easter at Anime Boston
I was worried people would find this article offensive, but it actually did very well. On Passover/Easter weekend, fandom isn’t the only thing Anime Boston attendees are passionate about, and I enjoyed documenting the spectrum of ways people celebrated religious holidays while they were away from home.
Despite the 40 degree weather (at a time of year when it’s 70 degrees at home!) Anime Boston is hands down my favorite convention. Hope to see you there next year.
i remember reading a story that took place during AB one year that during that the chapel was having their Easter service during the con and then all of a sudden as the priest was finishing his sermon about Jesus resurecting the doors blew open and a Jesus cosplayer walked right in as the priest hit the high point of the sermon
@disqus_eiXeBDMLz7:disqus I’ve heard that story, too! Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to confirm it. Each year when I go to the chapel looking for cosplayers, I only see attendees dressed in their Sunday best. (I can tell they are attendees because they’re wearing their badges.)
I think you did a very respectful job on the Passover & Easter article. I know I’m in the minority (to say the least) being a Christian going to anime cons, but I like that you gave it a neutral view and not slanted toward one side or the other.
@tommyphillips:disqus thank you very much. I will keep that in mind as I write my guest post for Beneath The Tangles. When I took a photo of a woman holding a sign that said, “Christ has risen but our prices have fallen,” a man next to me said, “I’m going to put this photo up on Facebook and make my Christian friends mad.” I asked him, “Why would they be mad?” and he said they didn’t have a sense of humor about religion. That’s not my experience with religious anime fans, however.
I have an artist friend who said she sold a bunch of buttons to people that said something to the effect of being a Christian anime fan. I was surprised, but over time I’ve met more people who are both Christians and like anime.
I’m not a fan of the Jesus cosplays, though, because from my experience with the people who do them, they purposely are trying to draw mockery (as seemed to be the case in the one you met). Such was the case with one at Ohayocon who made a game show only to make mocking jokes once chosen as a contestant. I think that if we as an otaku community want acceptance from the outside world, we shouldn’t provoke people to have reason to be angry at us. Sadly we are our own worst enemy sometimes (as was the case with the Hetalia fandom 4 years ago or so).
The Gender Identity in Convention Culture panelists described the problem with the “trap” trope so well. As a transgender woman that trope and jokes surrounding it have bothered me. As the panelists said, it shows transgender women as being out to “trick” men/boys, when in real life doing something like that is taking ones life in their hands. Violence against transgender people, particularly women and, even more so transgender women of color, is an all too real and common occurrence.
Thank you for posting about it. Much appreciated.
@zoeliddel:disqus and thank you for reading! As I’ve said before, you’re welcome to write a guest post on the topic any time.
[…] Boston as a staff member this year, writing for the con’s blog. She took a moment to highlight her articles, which include coverage of panels like “Gender Identity in Convention Culture” and […]
[…] from and how blind fans watch anime. I love reporting on topics like how Anime Boston navigates religion and fandom on Easter so much that I think of my yearly visit as a vacation, not as […]